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The series of paintings depicts the growth and fall of an imaginary city, situated on the lower end of a river valley, near its meeting with a bay of the sea. The valley is distinctly identifiable in each of the paintings, in part because of an unusual landmark: a large boulder is precariously situated atop a crag overlooking the valley.
There is the moral of all human tales
Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page.
- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18)
As author Jim Garrison noted; "The transition (of America) from republic to empire is irreversible, like the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly." Which begs the question: Is America destined to fall?
Will America be the next (and last) lost Empire? Or will the next empire be a global empire...a New World Empire?
Heart of Darkness
Yes; but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker--may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,